Having settled in over the last few weeks, I am learning more about Law Print’s products, the packaging industry, and how we operate, every day. See my first blog post here, and my very first thoughts on my time at Law Print.
So far, I have learned about the people in our company, the knowledge they have and the service they provide, as well as the issues we face in the packaging industry. Now I’m learning more about the bags themselves, the materials they are made up of, and the benefits they have for various consumer products.
To learn about a whole new topic or industry from scratch, it’s a good idea to take a hands-on approach and immerse yourself in your surroundings. If you’re learning to speak Spanish, you’d go to places where people speak Spanish – Spain, perhaps. I’m learning packaging, so I wanted to take a trip to the warehouse where we inspect and store our packaging. I asked our Quality Manager Kevin if I could accompany him (tag along) on one of his regular trips to our logistics centre.
We picked a good day for it, as temperatures hovered just above freezing, topped up by a very crisp wind chill factor. Fortunately, all our pallets are protected from the elements.
We inspected the latest container delivery – ensuring that all pallets were present and arrived in good condition – and marked them up to be sent to customers in the UK and Europe.
Meeting the warehouse manager, forklift truck operators and logistics teams, I was impressed at how smooth the whole operation was. Stock comes in, stock gets organised, stock gets dispatched. It gave me a better understanding of Law Print’s selling point – its service. Having a company that specialises in flexible packaging ensure your products are packaged in the most efficient way, while also taking on the responsibility of the logistical side of things, is invaluable to any business.
I’ve also been learning about our actual bags in more detail. I mentioned in my last blog that I was impressed by our salespeople’s knowledge of all the different packaging solutions we provide, and their ability to make on-the-spot recommendations to customers who don’t quite know what they’re looking for. Naturally, I need to become an expert too.
I’m particularly interested by our recyclable range and the story behind the material/structure decision-making that goes into their design. There’s a lot of research and development that goes into the technology behind these bags. But when I was told about the advancements that have been made in woven BOPP bags, my first reaction was, “What’s a woven BOPP bag?”
It turns out, a BOPP woven bag is a packaging solution made with a layer of woven polypropylene designed for strength and durability. Imagine a really tight, flexible plastic version of wicker. I’ve seen them thousands of times over the years, I just didn’t know the name. Charcoal briquettes are usually packaged in a woven BOPP bag.
Behind the scenes of the ever-evolving world of flexible packaging, bag manufacturers are constantly working on new solutions to improve durability, weight efficiency, space-saving, open-close fixtures, and shelf life capabilities without compromising on sustainability. It’s a battle to get the right balance – if a bag saves space on a truck but can only guarantee a six-month shelf life for example, that negatively affects the role it plays in a circular economy. It’s not just about being recyclable.
Our new BOPP bags are recyclable, but they’re also strong, light, heat-sealable, and offer a smoother surface that allows for top-quality rotogravure printing, which can be invaluable for more premium brands.
And that’s just one of our new bags – Law Print have a wide range of products suitable for all manner of food and non-food applications. You can have a look at them here – I’ll be exploring each of our new recyclable range in detail over the coming weeks. They certainly deserve some time in the spotlight.
Every day I pick up something new about this industry. Just the other day, a few of my colleagues were testing out some one-way degassing valves that had been added to some large pet food bags. Before working here, I wouldn’t have given that a second thought, but of course for some products it can be necessary. Valves have been added to solve problems – without valves, bags can balloon and negatively affect the product in a number of ways. It’s another indication of bag technology evolving to suit consumer/supply chain needs.
Law Print don’t just supply packaging, they supply packaging solutions. I’m beginning to appreciate that terminology. It’s safe to say that there is more to packaging than I thought.